My second week with the Badjao Community in Cebu

By Laura Stack

It’s our second week working with the Badjao Tribe. Between working on site and in school you learn so much. The Nano Nagle Learning Centre’s students have a simple uniform of navy skirts or pants and white top. The school day starts at 9am which commences session one. Session one is in the morning from 9am-11am. It consists of students ranging between 4-8 years of age.

Badjao students waiting for their morning class

Badjao students waiting for their morning class

There is break after session 1 because the heat is too hot to do much in! At 1pm-3pm session 2 commences. It’s for the same age group but these students are more academically advanced.

When I was working in a class, I was with children aged 4- 5 years old in the morning session and 5-6 years old in afternoon session 2 class.

In both sessions, the teachers use songs to help with communication and it also develops their English speaking skills as most songs are in English, for example ‘heads shoulders knees and toes’. After the songs, children, for example, learn to colour in pictures using specific colours which also helps with English development. Once they finished colouring they present it to the teacher and then they are allowed to play but for us watching, they’re learning through playing.

SERVE Volunteers outside the Nano Nagle Learning Centre

SERVE Volunteers outside the Nano Nagle Learning Centre

All the children love to try to speak to the volunteers but unfortunately we can’t speak their language and they only know very Basic English. Although we cannot speak the language, it doesn’t stop the children from filling your heart with joy and fulfilment whilst in their presence.

Being here in the Badjao is the biggest experience in itself. Whether you are inside the school or out working on the house building construction site, you are learning how other people live.

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